Aldwych Station, The Strand, London.
Tunnelvision was the first exhibition organised by Measure and opened in September 2000. The work of over 20 artists was exhibited in the ticket hall and train drivers room in the disused Aldwych Station on the Strand.
This is what our press release said about the show:
‘London Underground are allowing Measure the opportunity to exhibit at Aldwych, a unique building being the last example of an original tube station.
A series of installations will interact sympathetically with the architecture of the station and will enable visitors to explore the stations ticket hall and previously inaccessible storage rooms. Exhibiting at Aldwych will be a challenging and exciting chance to juxtapose contemporary artworks with a public space from early last century. As part of the exhibition a website will run concurrently with the show and will be expanded afterwards to include more information on the exhibition and future events. Tunnelvision will feature as part of the London Open House project, taking place on the 23th-24th of September.’
Tunnelvision was the first of four exhibitions in which we were included in the London Open House program and it was the only time the station had been included in the event to date. We found it an excellent way to encourage a wide audience to visit the exhibition.
The station was a branch line running from Holborn into the heart of London’s theatre land, but was closed in 1993 as it was too costly to refurbish for the small amount of passengers. The station was actually built on the site of the old Royal Strand Theatre which had closed on 13 May 1905 and was demolished soon after. Designed by architect Leslie Green, construction of the station began on 21 October 1905 using the now classic red glazed terracotta blocks and wide semi-circular windows on the upper floor.
Click here to watch a film by Fred Ivey featured on The Londonist of the station when it was still in service.